The Stormers are struggling and Western Province Rugby is on shaky financial ground‚ but the University of Stellenbosch (Maties) remains a source of pride in the region.
Maties claimed a record fourth Varsity Cup title at the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday night with an emphatic 40-7 win over the North West University (NWU Pukke).
The maroon machine went through the campaign unbeaten‚ by winning six pool matches and drawing two – against Wits University and Monday’s vanquished opponents NWU Pukke – during the regular season.
Former Cheetahs assistant coach and Griquas head coach Hawies Fourie guided the students to their first title in seven years while also avoiding a third consecutive final loss.
Winning has been a long time coming for the men from Stellenbosch‚ who won the first three editions of the tournament between 2008-2010 but had lost four finals before Monday.
They scored four tries on the night‚ including a seven-point try (the competition awards extra points for tries scored from long range) and were awarded a penalty try in the first half.
The home team only led 10-7 at the break but ramped up the pressure in the second half as their dominant pack took control.